Dr Jennifer Gardner OAM ~ Arboretum Appeal

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Dr Jennifer Gardner OAM      ~   Photo by Jennie Groom © 2017

While on a 7 year journey around the world with her husband in her 20’s, Jennifer Gardner had a thought while visiting a New York arboretum “it would be wonderful to work in a place like this” never imagining that she would one day have such a dream job.  On arrival back in Adelaide she finished her Science degree and went on to complete a PhD in Systematic Entomology.

The timing would happen that a new position as the Curator of The Waite Arboretum at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus, was created just as she finished her PhD!  That job opening has resulted in Jennifer’s life work and passion.  Contributing significantly to the development of the collection and involving the broader community by creating a vibrant volunteer program, and co-founding the Friends of the Waite Arboretum, Friends of the Waite Conservation Reserve and the organisation TREENET.   Jennifer has recently retired from The Waite Arboretum but she couldn’t stay away and now holds an Honorary position to work on special projects and other volunteer activities.

I asked Jennifer if she had ever worn a pedometer to count her steps throughout the day, she hasn’t but confesses that the 30 hectare site she’s walked around daily for the past 31 years would total a lot of steps!

Earlier this year, Jennifer was awarded an OAM, Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the environment and conservation.

If you’ve never visited The Waite Arboretum, I suggest you do one day as there are not only 2,400 trees to ponder (which you can find out extra information through the mobile application – check website link below) but a Rose Garden, a Garden of Discovery, a Sensory Garden, sculptures and special features including a native beehive, plus the very cool labyrinth, personally designed and constructed by Jennifer herself.

 

http://www.adelaide.edu.au/waite-historic/arboretum/

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The Hon. Anne Levy AO – Presidential Power

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The Hon. Anne Levy AO       Photo by Jennie Groom ©

When I met and photographed Anne Levy a couple of years ago, just after her 80th birthday, I knew I was in the presence of a significant woman of parliament but doing some more research recently on Anne has really opened my eyes to how amazing and supremely significant she is and someone should write a book about her so school children can learn about her contribution to history, (just saying!).

Anne Levy is a trailblazer, and I don’t use that term lightly.  It’s rare to see these days politicians staying in the job for much longer than a term or two let alone 22 years and then choosing to retire, but this is what Anne Levy did which demonstrates her popularity in Government.

Anne was the first Labor woman in South Australia to be elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1975 where she continued serving the state until retiring in 1997.  During her tenure, Anne served as the first Labor President of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1986 to 1989.  Labor had not previously ever held the Legislative Council presidency. She was also the first woman to preside over any house of Parliament in Australia.  You may want to re-read those last two lines, I had to!

One of the first groups Anne joined as a founding member and later patron, was the Humanist Society of South Australia in 1960.  She was awarded the Humanist of the Year in 1986 for her work towards abortion law reform, voluntary euthanasia, family planning, decriminalisation of homosexuality, and other reforms.  Since then, Anne has been a member, life long member, board member, chair, patron and founder of many, many different groups and societies, not to forget, holding 6 different portfolios as a Minister whilst in Government.

Prior to politics, Anne was already a trailblazing woman for studying science and was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1957.  In-between Honours and her Master of Science in 1963, she had 2 children and worked as a Tutor and Senior Tutor in Genetics from 1960-1975 at the University of Adelaide.

Currently, Anne is happy still serving on Boards including the State Theatre of South Australia and The Botanic Gardens and supporting artists by adding to her personal collection.

Prof. Tanya Monro -Superhero of Science

Tanya Monro
Photo by Jennie Groom ©2016

As we are currently celebrating National Science week, I thought I would highlight Professor Tanya Monro who I first started photographing at the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.  She is now the University of South Australia’s deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation.

Since winning her first major award, The Bragg Gold Medal for Excellence in Physics for the best PhD thesis by a student from an Australian university in 1998,  Professor Tanya Monro has gone on to become a superhero of science!  She has won more awards and has more letters after her name than any early forty year old woman I know, including the prestigious Eureka Prize one year ago for her breakthrough cancer research.  She was also the 2011 South Australian of  the Year.

Not only is Tanya a smart physicist but she is a fantastic role model for women, young and old, encouraging them to embrace science.

As part of Science week, this Friday there will be a display of women in science projected on the Flinders University Building in Victoria Square where I’m lucky enough to have my photos of Tanya on show.